The First Major Posthumous Show of Les Lalanne Is Here

AD Pro

September 10, 2020

Ask AD100 designer Brian J. McCarthy about the work of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, and his sentences speed up with excitement. “The many times that I went to the workshops in their house, it always struck me as being like Noah’s Ark,” McCarthy says. “There was something so wonderfully alive about the experience.” Aesthetes can’t get enough of the surreal works of Les Lalanne, known for their otherworldly nature-inspired sculptures that tread the line between art and design. Though their oeuvre is expansive—from Claude’s mirrors dripping in gilded flora to François-Xavier’s multipurpose bronze monkeys—each piece is imbued with a quintessential playful spirit.

Chip off the block – lessons from my father, JB Blunk

Financial Times

September 10, 2020

I can still remember the smell of my father’s studio. A mix of freshly cut wood, sawdust and varnish. It was a warm, dusty, pungent scent that emanated from his sculptures and, at the end of the day, his work clothes. The smell would waft out of the open doors of his studio and envelop me like a strong hug when I stepped inside. 

My father is the late sculptor JB Blunk, best known for his large-scale redwood installations such as The Planet (1969) at the Oakland Museum of California. But before he started working with wood in the early 1960s, ceramics were his focus. When he was drafted into the Korean War in 1949, he saw it as an opportunity to visit Japan and meet the revered studio potter Shoji Hamada. There, a chance encounter with the artist Isamu Noguchi led to apprenticeships with the distinguished potters Kitaoji Rosanjin and Kaneshige Toyo – experiences that deeply influenced his work and way of life. 

Misogyny and making art in the shadow of Jackson Pollock—how Lee Krasner was shut out of art history

The Art Newspaper

August 24, 2020

The rehabilitation of the late US artist Lee Krasner (1908-84) continues apace with the publication of a new long-form essay by the art critic and poet Carter Ratcliff titled Lee Krasner: The Unacknowledged Equal. The new research, published by the New York-based Pollock-Krasner Foundation, provides insights into the evolution of Krasner’s work and relationship with her husband Jackson Pollock—“definitively bringing her out of Pollock’s shadow”, according to a foundation statement.

Three exhibitions to see in New York, London and online this weekend

The Art Newspaper

July 30, 2019

William N. Copley: The New York Years at Kasmin in New York features work from the era following the American Surrealist’s return to the city in 1963 after more than a decade as an expatriate in Paris. The paintings are full of American pathos: their content is said to spring from Copley’s repressive American childhood, and such an observation requires little digging for evidence. His humorous broaching of sexuality, religion and consumerism are delightfully ham-fisted, with a willingness to ladle muffled imagery out of the American subconscious and onto the canvas.

A New Exhibit Reveals Why Lee Krasner Was Not Your Average 1950s New York Artist


July 15, 2020

What set Krasner apart from her contemporaries during the modern art boom is this: She rejected the idea of the artist’s brand (something wildly popular with creatives today on Instagram, for example), battling against the idea of the “signature image,” that being one kind of image or style that would define an artist - and stopped them from being able to go outside of that.

Influenced by artists like Hans Hofmann and George Bridgman, Krasner worked in collage, too, and experimented early on in the style of cubism. During the Great Depression, she painted murals, and ventured out on her own as an abstract artist, a style that was unpopular during the 1930s and 1940s. It wasn't until she joined a liasion of abstract artists that she met her contemporaries, all of which were men, including Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, among others.

Plexiglas Barriers, Sanitizer, and Digital Reservation Systems: How New York Galleries Are Reopening


July 14, 2020

Kasmin, which has reopened with abbreviated hours, has also begun allowing visitors—and making changes to its business. Its online booking system lists around a dozen health and safety protocols that the gallery is taking; visitors must agree to keep in line with them when scheduling appointments, which are mandatory. Under the new guidelines, the gallery will offer gloves and hand sanitizer at the front desk, limit the amount of visitors to the gallery to just three at a time, and screen staff before they enter the gallery. All visitors are expected to wear masks.

“There’s a feeling of caution, but also rebirth and renewal,” said Kasmin’s managing director Nick Olney. “To start to come back together slowly feels wonderful, but we all know that we have to take each day one at a time and be really cautious.”

8 Must-See Exhibitions at New York’s Reopened Galleries

Galerie Magazine

July 10, 2020

AND/ALSO: Photography (Mis)represented

The increasingly blurred boundaries between photography and other media go on full display at Kasmin gallery this summer, as seen through the work of six diverse New York–based photographers. Artists such as Lucas Blalock and Michele Abeles explore the ways in which photography can be manipulated, while Roe Ethridge and Farah Al Qasimi focus on narrative structures and historical genres behind the meaning of a photograph. Erin O’Keefe and Daniel Gordon construct dioramas and collages that become the subject of their work, resulting in completely unique photographs.

What’s It Like to Go to a Gallery Right Now?


July 8, 2020

Around the world, for better or worse, the Great Reopening is well underway. First, it was shops, salons, and beaches; later restaurants (if only for outdoor dining); and now galleries and museums are starting to peek through the curtain too.

Kasmin will reopen as well, with “William N. Copley: The New York Years”* and “And/Also: Photography (Mis)represented”*.

These major NYC art galleries are reopening with new exhibits this week

Time Out

July 6, 2020

Galleries have been a step ahead in emerging from the Pause because, technically, they were allowed to reopen during Phase 2, though most venues chose not to. Starting this week, however, numerous galleries are getting back to business, though mainly by restarting shows cut short by the lockdown. Some, however, are kicking off their post-quarantine season with brand new exhibitions. But as with everything in the new normal, certain restrictions apply.

"AND/ALSO: Photography (Mis)represented" at Kasmin Gallery, through Aug 21

The six artists in this group exhibition push the boundaries between photography and sculpture, architecture, painting, drawing, media and computer graphics. The gallery is also opening a solo show of the figurative painter, William N. Copley, on July 14.

Mark Ryden Debuts in China with New Body of Work "Anima Animals" @ Perrotin, Shanghai


July 1, 2020

Some people find it alluring. For others, a little macabre. But if there is an artist who creates a haunting meticulous universe quite like Mark Ryden, we have yet to find them. To call him a master of his craft is an understatement, and his brew of kitsch, subcultural legacies and storytelling are so rare that he doesn’t quite fit into one category of contemporary art. Takashi Murakami, long an admirer of the Portland-based artist, has said of Ryden and his generation, “Once we had full command of both of these (art history and technique), we succeeded in combining historical painting methods with subculture. That, in a nutshell, is our generation.”

High-Octane Sales During the VIP Preview of Art Basel’s Second Online Fair Solidify the ‘New Normal’ of the Socially Distanced Art Market


June 18, 2020

Kasmin Gallery was upbeat about the results of its VIP day. “It’s kicked off with a real sense of enthusiasm. We’ve made sales to clients we know and have had great inquiries from clients we don’t,” said gallery director Eric Gleason.
Among the gallery’s sales were Lee Krasner’s Untitled (circa 1979–80), a mixed-media work on paper, for $240,000, and Max Ernst’s Petite fille jouant aux cercaux (1974) for $115,000.

‘There Have to Be Some Silver Linings to Virtual Art Fairs’: Galleries Try to Look on the Bright Side as They Adapt to an Online-Only Art Basel


June 16, 2020

Kasmin made a more subtle, if still significant, adjustment. The gallery applied to the fair with the idea of presenting a survey focusing on Lee Krasner’s early charcoal works. “It’s a body of work that was unrecognized—before that it was pretty unheralded,” said Eric Gleason, a director at Kasmin and one of the senior staffers who’s stepped up to run the gallery since its namesake, Paul Kasmin, passed away in March.

When it was clear that the Art Basel would become digital, Gleason said they went to the fair brass to ask if they could expand their purview to three artists: Krasner, Max Ernst, and Ali Banisadr, focusing on the process of mark-making in each of the artists’s works. After getting a yes, Kasmin’s team hustled to build out a more ambitious booth, working at a tenacious clip.

Artist Bosco Sodi on his inclusive vision for Mexico’s Casa Wabi

Wallpaper Magazine

May 31, 2020

Usually based in Brooklyn, Sodi has taken refuge at Casa Wabi for the past two months. It’s the longest amount of time he’s been in a place for the last 15 years. ‘I figured that it would be a good idea to come here and focus on improving the foundation. This pandemic is a terrible thing, but we as humans have the obligation to make the most of any tragedy and create a better world’, he says. His reflections on the pandemic may well encapsulate the mission of Casa Wabi: ‘We need to be more connected with the people around us, with all human beings, and with nature.’

Bosco Sodi Embraces the Japanese Philosophy of Wabi-Sabi in Quarantine

Galerie Magazine

May 29, 2020

Located in the sun-drenched Mexican town of Puerto Escondido overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Casa Wabi is a creative haven for artists and the local community that feels a million miles away from the rest of the world. It’s little wonder, then, that the artist Bosco Sodi—who founded the art foundation in 2014—felt it would be the perfect place to hunker down with his wife and three  children when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and quarantine orders were put into effect. “When they announced that schools were going to be closed, we decided to come straight here,” says Sodi, who also maintains studios in New York (his primary residence) and Barcelona.

In Images of Ancient Frescoes, Hidden Legacies Are Exposed

The Wall Street Journal

May 29, 2020

In a career spanning five decades, Robert Polidori has accepted only two assignments for ad campaigns. One of them, in the fall of 2004, held a surprising revelation. “I was brought to Italy by a company that makes electrical systems,” he recalls with a wry laugh. “I never understood the concept. They were tying their designer fittings in with high fashion.” Although the goal of the advertising project remained a mystery (“I’m not a product person”), Polidori was given a car and driver to travel across Italy. The itinerary included Naples—his first visit to the southern coastal city. Polidori swore to come back alone.

Why Do We Cling to Art in Apocalyptic Times?

Art in America

May 28, 2020

Yet we must entertain the unnerving possibility that this world, the one in which humanity is doomed to wander the desert of its own profligacy, is overseen not by Benjamin’s Angel of History, but rather by Max Ernst’s Angel of Hearth and Home (1937). In this painting, a gargantuan polymorphous horror thunders across an empty landscape, screaming in fury and pain. The creature’s hands flail in agonized spasms; its grotesque birdlike mouth gapes with what must be a howl of grief; its clothes, even its body, are nothing but motley tatters; some parasitic needle-toothed being clings to its side, merges with it, is stuck to it, feeds on it. The angel’s eyes are closed in mindless rage, as if it sees nothing, knows nothing. We imagine that over its own piercing screams it can hear nothing, not even the cries of those it is about to crush: the painting’s viewers, unnoticed at its feet.

“Radical Women”

The New Yorker

May 18, 2020

The first season of the Getty’s “Recording Artists” podcast is hosted by the renowned curator Helen Molesworth, whose enthusiasm for her subjects—six formidable twentieth-century artists—is as illuminating as the audio interviews at the heart of the series. In the first episode, Molesworth describes herself as a “fangirl” of the figurative painter Alice Neel, but she’s erudite and critical, too. Lee Krasner, Betye Saar, Helen Frankenthaler, Yoko Ono, and Eva Hesse are each the focus of a subsequent episode. Molesworth deftly sets up the archival recordings—conversations conducted by the feminist art historians Cindy Nemser and Barbara Rose mostly in the nineteen-sixties and seventies—with lively biographical accounts and commentary from an outstanding group of guests. The artists Catherine Lord and Sanford Biggers have refreshing takes on Ono; the painters Amy Sillman and Lari Pittman are great on Krasner. And it’s a treat, of course, to hear the old recordings. In a memorable moment, Frankenthaler, speaking of a studio visit with the critic Clement Greenberg circa 1951, states, as though it’s a matter of fact, that “to his astonishment, I was knocking out paintings that were pretty terrific.” The self-reflective insights and smile-provoking swagger in the entire series are pretty terrific, too.

The T List: A Look at an Artist Inspired by the Natural World

T Magazine

May 14, 2020

Best known for his large-scale public sculptures — like “Santa Cruz (Blunk’s Hunk)” (1968), a gnarled piece of redwood carved like a boat — J.B. Blunk was also a proficient painter and jeweler who turned his Inverness, Calif., home into a showcase for the artistic splendor of natural materials, including redwood burls and stones made smooth by the Eel River, which he foraged himself in the north of the state. Given his output and the fact that, in the 1950s, he was an apprentice to Japanese masters like Rosanjin and Kaneshige Toyo, it’s surprising that no monograph on his life and work has existed until now. “J.B. Blunk,” which publishes tomorrow, has been meticulously curated by Mariah Nielson, Blunk’s daughter and the director of his estate, and spans the artist’s long and varied career. What makes his oeuvre so exceptional, according to Nielson, is “the confluence and synergy between life and work, and the fact that he didn’t distinguish between art, design and craft the way we do in Western culture.” The book is laid out to reflect Blunk’s approach: Images of sculptures of wood and stone sit alongside those of early ceramic works and items of gold jewelry, many of which served as studies for the sculptures. Its release was initially meant to coincide with Blunk’s first (and also long-overdue) solo show in New York, at the Kasmin Gallery, which will now take place in the fall and feature works from both the artist’s home and private collections. Head to Vimeo to flip through the book and see some of Blunk’s home.

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